Chilly, but no polar bears

First Posted: 2/28/2015

Temperatures are a relative thing.

Put in perspective, it was downright cold one recent morning when the mercury dropped to minus-19 degrees. It almost seemed warm when the temperature climbed to 13 degrees.

Putting that 32-degree swing into perspective, as one person told me, would be like waking up on a 60-degree morning and then sweating through a 90-plus degree afternoon.

Some people took an improper perspective with the arctic and Siberian type area and posted on Facebook that it was so cold polar bears were seen on Lake Erie in Michigan.

This humorous attempt to possibly break up the doldrums of winter was not funny to some, especially the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, after a bad facsimile of its logo was used in the hoax.

“It was hooey, hogwash and bunkum,” MDNR media specialist Ed Goldner said, while laughing.

“Actually it was an abuse of our logo,” he added, saying the hoaxsters thought people might take this more seriously. “It’s good Snopes saw it and made sure to correct things.”

The alert showed a picture of a polar bear walking on ice along with the poor facsimile of the MDNR logo and stated: “Warning! Lake Erie is frozen, and polar bears are now in Michigan. Polar bears that have crossed the ice from Canada. Bring your pets in immediately! Do not go outside! Polar bears have been walking a long time and are very hungry!” is a website and a well-known source which debunks stories of unknown or questionable origin.

Goldner did admit, “Sometimes you have to laugh your way through a winter like this, or otherwise it might make you cry.”

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For the second successive frigid winter, ice anglers from all over have been going in droves to the Port Clinton area for the walleye bite.

With the plethora of ice anglers in the area, there have been parking safety concerns at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife . The agency noted in its weekly fishing report that parking will be limited to the parking lots and along the northbound lane between the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center and the beach only in the wildlife area.

First responders and emergency personnel have expressed concerns in getting vehicles back into the area in the event of an emergency. In order to address these safety concerns, while still trying to maximize recreational opportunities, parking will no longer be allowed next to the southbound lane.

Anglers are asked to park as efficiently as possible in order that the wildlife area may accommodate as many people as possible. During peak use, DOW personnel will be on hand to assist in parking. In the event that all parking spots are filled, anglers will need to utilize other facilities.

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While ice and frigid temperatures may be on the minds of many, spring is not far away. And spring means wild turkey hunting.

For youth, excellent opportunities to hunt are available on the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, which is located near the Michigan border. Youth turkey hunting only is held on this several hundred acres area in northwest Williams County.

The annual drawing for 56 date/section combinations will be held March 21 at the area’s headquarters, located at 09-455 County Road R, west of Pioneer.

Youths age 17 and younger may participate. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues until the drawing at 10 a.m. Youth hunters must possess a 2015-2016 hunting license to register. Youth hunters are not required to be present to register. Adults may register a youth by presenting the youth’s hunting license.

Successful applicants will select an available section of their choice for a three, four, or five-day permit between the dates of April 18-May 17. There are 56 date/section combinations available.

For more information, contact the La Su An area headquarters at 419-485-9092 or the Division of Wildlife District Two Office at 419-424-5000 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Thinking spring is also thinking bird migration and registration for the “biggest week in birding” is underway. The event is organized and hosted by Black Swamp Bird Observatory

The 10-day event takes place May 8-15, primarily along Lake Erie, and features a myriad of events including workshops, guided birding activities, half-day birding bus tours, keynote speakers, etc.

Many activities take place in the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, located off state Route 2 between Port Clinton and Oak Harbor (not far from the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant). This wildlife area, which features a boardwalk that winds through 34-acres of marshy and wooded area along Lake Erie, has been voted the best place in the country for birding by readers of USA Today.

The area in northwest Ohio has been called the “Warbler Capital of the World,” since so many types of this species stop there and use it as a resting place before making their flight across Lake Erie.

Birding guru Kenn Kaufman, a lifelong naturalist and author from from Oak Harbor will be teaching several bird identification classes and is featured speaker and a field trip leader.

For more information and to register go to:

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Safety is of the utmost concern during any hunting seasons.

Ohio recorded 11 hunter injury incidents during the 2014 hunting seasons. One of those was a fatality in Muskingum County during the deer gun season.

Neighboring Michigan was lauding the fact for the first time since the state began checking records in the 1940s, it had no hunting-related deaths. Michigan had 10 incidents involving injuries, nine in the Lower Peninsula and one in the Upper Peninsula.

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